Society

Details of Church Leaders' Involvement in Sex Abuse Scandals Come to Light

| by Amanda Schallert
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Details of the morally questionable actions of current Catholic Church leaders surfaced Monday, as the Milwaukee Archdiocese released thousands of pages of documents chronicling clergy sex abuse.

The archdiocese released the records to comply with the demands of some of the victims of sex abuse by priests, who are suing the archdiocese for fraud, according to the Huffington Post.

Because the archdiocese lost more than 30 million dollars in past years while fighting cases with victims suing it for misconduct, it filed bankruptcy in 2011. As part of a deal made in federal bankruptcy court, the archdiocese agreed to expose the documents, according to the New York Post.

The depositions and letters of Timothy Dolan, former archbishop of Milwaukee, were some of the materials released. 

Church records show that Dolan got permission to move $57 million of the Church’s money to a trust fund in 2007, in anticipation of the archdiocese’s filing for bankruptcy. 

Records also show that Dolan was involved in trying to remove priests known for abuse from the priesthood. After victims started suing in the early 2000s, Dolan reportedly wrote letters to ask for some priests’ removals instead of subjecting the priests to criminal prosecutions.

In one letter, Dolan wrote, “as victims organize and become more public, the potential for true scandal is very real."

Dolan is currently the president of the U.S. Conferene of Catholic Bishops, a prominent position in the Catholic Church.

Sources: Huffington Post, New York Post